It’s no question that great white sharks pack quite the bite.
These predators have mouths lined with about 300 triangular, serrated, razor-sharp teeth. Once the shark spots prey, it’s likely game over for that creature.
While sharks are quite the predators, that doesn’t mean they don’t get into tussles in the wide expansive ocean. A photographer proved this point when they shared an image of a great white shark with a massive bite on its side.
Great White Shark with Giant Bite Mark
A photographer named Jalil Najafov took this photo while he was diving in Isla Guadalupe, Mexico in early December. He happened to spot a great white female shark swimming on its own. Right on the side of the predator is a massive ring of teeth marks that spread from the side all the way to its chest. He shared the post on Instagram, where it has gotten over 57,000 views.
As for what else in the ocean could have done that level of damage, it was likely another great white shark. That’s both unsettling and reassuring at the same time.
“On rare occasions, during mating season among sharks, ‘mating scars’ appear on female sharks’ bodies caused by the males holding onto them. … These scars are mostly deeper cuts and punctures, indicating a more forceful motivation such as coercive mating from the male’s side,” said Najafov, according to CBS News.
This massive scarred shark has gotten a lot of attention from wildlife experts. Although Najafov believes this scar happened during the mating process, others disagreed with him. Tristan Guttridge, who works as a behavioral ecologist and wildlife presenter for the very popular Shark Week on Discovery, believes this bite is from something else.
“Due to position as the wound [sic] looks like it’s healed a fair bit and although mating scars can be nasty they are more superficial than that. The shape of it to me likely indicates a bite from another shark – seems a bit extreme for defense,” Guttridge said, according to the Instagram post.
As for the scar, it won’t be visible on the shark forever. That’s what makes the photograph so powerful. Najafov was able to capture the appearance of the scar before it completely healed.
Spearfisherman Close Call
Meanwhile, David Scherrer decided to go spearfishing with friends off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks in mid-December.
He spots a great white shark in the water and decides to start recording. The shark is swimming in the other direction and looks to be about 10-feet in size. Suddenly, the shark makes a dramatic pivot and begins swimming in Scherrer’s direction instead.
The video continues as the shark and the spearfisherman are looking at each other head-on. Luckily, in this dramatic game of chicken, the shark veers off right at the perfect time. He shared the post on Instagram and one person asked if he would have shot the shark.
“If it opened its mouth, I [was going to] shoot,” Scherrer commented.